Market Comment - Spring/Summer 2014 - Views from the front row

If you have been reading the press over the last few months you will have read some contrasting views on where the market stands in London. London in itself can not be viewed as the same animal therefore newspaper reports are often inaccurate or give the wrong impression. This is even more the case when UK reports are used as relevant data. We must remember by the time the press report it this is old news.

As agents, we are positioned on the 'front line' and see transaction levels, buyer numbers and clients expectations without any interference from other marketplaces or variables. In our local market we are the experts of what is going on currently and where we maybe heading. The general patterns and trends we are seeing seem to appear of caution from buyers and investors. Whilst vendors in the most cases are looking to achieve record prices. Obviously this difference in opinion means less deals agreed and transactions down. However the few properties that are coming to the market at value are selling well and quickly.

Why? Well the story in Prime Central London differs from from other areas in London. Peripheral boroughs of London where the mortgage market has improved has resulted in a very buoyant and a typical 'seller's market'; gazumping and sales agreed over the asking price commonplace. Here we are not at that intensity level partly due to tax changes with Corporate envelopes and SDLT. Also, not to mention, the last few years have been very good in PCL, therefore maybe a correction or cooling off was due.

Should I buy or sell or now? There are always good reasons to buy and sell in any market. As a buyer I would say there is a bit more choice out there, particularly at the top end. As a seller, if priced correctly and you have motivations to sell, then do it. There are still plenty of willing buyers, however these same buyers are also very wise and will not overpay where there maybe better value elsewhere.